I am sorry to have ruffled feathers with this thread, but I feel there are
distinctions to be made and perhaps a little tighter control of my
vocabulary will help. The way I see it, the distinctions should be similar
1: Hunters (including fishermen and trappers)
a. Sportsmen - hunt, fish, and trap adhering to a code of ethics and
safety, and promote "game species" conservation (not necessarily all native
b. Yahoos, yokels, poachers, buffalo hunters, etc. - have no apparent
code of ethics, do not follow firearm safety guidelines, detract from the
efforts of sportsmen by alienating non-hunters.
a. Birders - adhere to a code of ethics and promote conservation of both
game and general wildlife species and habitat.
b. Yahoos & yokels - have no apparent code of ethics and detract from
the efforts of birders by alienating non-birdwatchers.
So, the way I see it, not all hunters are sportsmen and not all birdwatchers
are birders. But I will stand by my statement that historically, hunters
have negatively impacted wildlife more than birdwatchers. It should be noted
that conservationists, sportsmen, and birdwatchers were instrumental a
century ago (along with Teddy Roosevelt!) in setting aside the National Park
Service which has certainly had a positive impact on wildlife in general
with federal tax revenues from ALL taxpayers. I will also concede that in
the last 50 years, hunters have done a lot to conserve wildlife, however the
target of their conservation is typically game species which may have an
adverse effect on non-game species if not properly managed. I believe this
is the dilemma most states and federal agencies are now encountering. For
instance, management of game lands over the last century to bolster
waterfowl populations alone does not necessarily improve habitat for
shorebirds and amphibians. Waterfowl habitat is typically deeper water
whereas shorebirds prefers flats. In the past, flats have been dredged to
deepen the water to attract waterfowl, limiting shorebirds and many
amphibians to just the shoreline. But the other issue is that
later-migrating shorebirds have to use these areas during the hunting
season, which is going to stress them, while careless birdwatchers stress
them as well throughout their migratory layovers.
Wetlands management is very complicated because in conserving wetlands,
historically drawing heavily on funding from hunting, trapping, and fishing
revenue, states are finding that it may not necessarily be in the best
interest of threatened, non-game species. That is why it is important for
hunters, fishermen, birders, herpetologists, botanists, etc. work together
to find the best management plan for dwindling wetland resources and not
rely so heavily on the funding from game licenses and organizations with
only game conservation in mind.
Port Kent, NY
----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry and Mona Rogers" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 10:01 AM
Subject: Birders and Hunters
> I don't hunt, although I own lots of guns. I am too sentimental
> kill animals for sport, although I am far from a vegetarian. I like
> I like birding, and I like birders. There are times however, when some of
> my birding friends get a bit sanctimonious and, dare I say it, elitist
> discussing the one class of people in this country who have contributed
> most to wildlife conservation.
> I can live with contradictions.